Pasta

So I hope you are feeling much better than I am!! It seems this bug is going around everywhere. No weekly menu plan this week as I am trying to get back to normal so I thought I would talk a wee bit about pasta.

When I started this little journey of mine I decided one of the things I really wanted to tackle was pasta. Pasta is one of those things which we always have in and I will never ever say no to pasta and pesto, especially with a sprinkle of cheese on top, so learning to make my own pasta is something that I really want to try.

Every Sunday I have dinner at my parents house and it’s a great time to experiment so along came my pasta machine and my sister brought hers to.

The pasta we made was just flour and water and we filled it with a lovely Vegan filling of silken tofu, nooch and spinach, I may of also done a few with brie lol. It wasn’t as hard as I thought to make, though next time I will defiantly be making some again as our filled pasta was a bit on the chewy side.

Weekly Menu Plan – 15th January 2018

I’m calling this week “the week where I get stuck with Flu, don’t eat anything substantial for three days but still need to go shopping to make sure we kinda eat something next week”

Yeah this week wasn’t the best, I’ve spent most of it in a haze of dizziness, which for me is quite unusual. I’ve had my fair share of colds and feeling crappy that I know how to cope, this time though I had sweats, dizziness, lack of concentration and lack of appetite, I even couldn’t go to work one day which is super unusual for me as I couldn’t cope.

Anyway onto the excitement which is our menu plan for this week har har. Above is my shameless shopping as you can see when we went shopping yesterday I went without a list or clue. I knew I wanted to have a few quick meals as even though I’m going back to work on Monday I’m not 100%, so once home I’ll just want to cook quickly and just quilt it on the sofa. Also I apologise for the crappy photo, I had started to put my shopping nice and neatly on the belt when a lovely lady said she was opening and to move over, so I felt rushed and just dumped it all and took a quick snap, yes sadly I did get looked at stupidly!

Turkey Dinosaurs – £2.10
Potato Lattice – £1.05
Toothpaste – £1.00
Biscuits – £1.00
Ben and Jerrys – £2.50
Coffee – £2.00
Lip Care – £1.50
Orange Juice x2 – £2.70 (on a deal 2 for £2.20)
Cheese – £0.90
Pizza Bakes – £1.05
Yogurt – £2.10
Soothers x 2 – £1.06
Cadburys choc – £1.00
Dog Treats – £1.50
Cookie Dough Drink – £0.50
Sharwoods x 2- £1.74
Quiche – £2.00
Cake – £2.00
Total – £27.70

Yep not proud with that shopping at least I got a few things for dinners, the rest though (shakes head) I’m blaming it all on the Flu, thankfully next week is a new week and at least I didn’t spend a MASSIVE amount of money. I also still checked for deals, so that’s a plus point. I was going to get some saving stamps to go into my book but the machine wasn’t switched on so I popped the money into my sealed piggy bank instead. Oh and it’s still not above my £35 target so again that good right?!?! Just kinda looking for silver linings lol

My total for the month is £88.59 / £150, now this is amazing. We technically only have one more shopping week left with £61.41, so I did what most people wouldn’t do, I went and bought one of our pups a new bed! £45.00 worth of bed but as by the photo below, he loves it. We spent Saturday at my sisters house, where the photo was taken and as soon as we came back with it, he hasn’t been out of it. This fills my heart with joy. He needed a new one as he was using Oscars one, which when we first got Larry was fine as he was a lot smaller than he is now. He’s managed to relax a lot more in the last couple of years and it seems with relaxing he’s gotten bigger. I guess he isn’t shying away anymore.

Now onto our menu plan for the week

Breakfast – I’m going to try again for porridge and the other half is on cereal

Lunch – I’m hoping for some type of couscous salad thing, the other half will be on cheese sandwiches.

Dinner –

Monday – Pizza things above with the last of the chips
Tuesday – Sausage casserole and mash (I’m hoping I will be feeling better and as such ok to start spending time in the Kitchen, hence the mash. I’ll be using sausages from the freezer and putting them in the slow cooker)
Wednesday – Soup and Bread
Thursday – Quorn Enchiladas
Friday – Quorn Tikka and Rice
Saturday – Fingers crossed Homemade Pizza.
Sunday – At the parents, excited as we’re attempting Vegan falafels, nomnom. Hoping to do extra and have them for the week with probably couscous lol!

So that’s it, I’m expecting this week just being a getting back to normal week. I’m hoping we get some better weather so I can maybe make it out into the garden and have a look at what we have and what I haven’t so if I need to buy anything I can do.

 

Starting a sourdough

One of my targets this year is to focus on one thing every week, that way at the end of the year, hopefully I would of done 52 things to to help me achieve my targets for the year.

My target for this week was starting a sourdough starter. I’ve wanted to make one for a long long time, the only thing stopping me was that I didn’t know whether I would be able to keep it going, well with my added motivation this year I know I’ll be keeping it going for a long time. I’m also wanting to make weekly bread so sourdough would be a great bread to have under my belt.

The “recipe” I used is a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall one which just consisted of 100g flour and mixing with water to make a batter. I sadly after the fact realized my jar is way too big so doubled the 100g to 200g and mixed it with 250ml water. We will see how it goes as I might be tempted to put it into a small jar.

Just need to remember to feed it everyday now! I’ll give an update after a week to see how it’s doing.

Weekly Menu Plan – 8th January 2018

Hey!

Well you probably guessed that last week I didn’t put a menu plan up. I made one then the world subsequently decided that I wouldn’t stick to it at all, what with two meals out and a few nights eating at my parents there was no point.

This week though, I am making and sticking to my menu plan, or as damn nearest as I can.

I’m trying my hardest to start having the weekends just to us, no actual shopping (unless it’s to a local producer) will be accepted! So on Friday lunchtime we (me and my sister) went to Tesco shopping and I got the following;

3 X Laxey Flour – £1.48 each
Yazoo – £0.50
Loose Bananas – £0.90
Yeast – £1.05
2 x Herb Stockpots – £1.52 each (on a deal, 2 for £2)
Korma Sauce – £0.87
Mixed Nuts – £1.37
2 x Passata – £0.35 each
Dog Treats – £1.50
Paneer £1.58
Mushrooms £1.00
Soup storage bags x 6 – £1.05
Shampoo – £1.05
Total – £18.01

This means that this week we are £16.99 under my weekly budget of £35! This makes me very happy also means that I can put that aside for another week.

Our monthly total so far is £60.89/£151 and it looks like there is only two more weeks left this month, does a weird happy dance thing!

From that we’re hopefully going to be eating:

Breakfast – Porridge and jam for me, cerial for the other half

Lunch – soup and bread for me, cheese sandwich for the other half

Dinner –

Monday – Paneer and mushroom korma
Tuesday – Sausage casserole with veg (bringing the slow cooker into action)
Wednesday – Risotto balls with a tomato sauce
Thursday – just me so either a fish finger or egg sandwich
Friday – Soup and toasties
Saturday – Homemade Pizza Saturday
Sunday – Cooking at the parents and it’s going to be Homemade pasta, YAY!!

As you can see I got three lots of wholemeal flour, I’m hoping to make a bread for myself for lunches and I’m also hoping to do a sourdough starter as it’s my aim for this week!

Island Life / Megalith Birthday


Welcome to my first “Island Life” post, this one is adeptly called Island Life / Megalith Birthday! I am hoping to add in little bits of what I call Island Life every so often just random things I do which add to my quality of life on this little Island.

So today is my big big sisters birthday and I thought it was only right to treat her yesterday after work to the two things we love very much, pizza and history, especially Manx history!

The pizza we had was a new to us pizza place called Neo’s and we went mainly because they do Vegan pizza and I always always go for somewhere that can feed my Vegan sister over any old place first. As you can see from her grabby hand motion we were very excited and it’s was great pizza, we would and once all our calendars align will be going again.

We then made the great trek to the Manx Museum for our talk. We’ve seen Mr Hutton now coming on 4/5 times over as many years. I just love how engaging he is and it always helps than he natters about what we love most History and Folklore. This one was on Manx Megaliths and I learned quite a few new things and confirmed a few others. Well worth the ten pounds. I also managed to get quite a few rows done while listening to his talk. Rory the photos of Mr Hutton are a wee bit suspect was taking them on the sly, I’ve not quite got blogger courage yet!

Potatoes, potatoes everwhere


Are you ready for some back story?

So over Christmas our local Tesco had a massive overstock of veg and was selling of lots of veg for 10p so being me I bought several potatoes, carrots and a couple of parsnips which went happily in my new veg storage the other half made me. Now on the Friday before New Years one of my work colleagues came into work with a lot of veg, apparently Tesco gave the food bank a lot of the veg (YAY!) but I’m unsure on whether there wasn’t a demand or the fact that the veg was apparently “out of date” meant that they couldn’t find the veg a new home (Boo!!). I’d already bought myself a load so left the veg to everyone else at work. The top photo shows what was left and was going to be thrown out, minus the two bags of carrots I didn’t add!

I for one couldn’t handle the food being thrown out, it was completely fine!!

Though I did have to decide what to do with all this veg! I decided borrowing my sisters dehydrator (I need to save up for my own) would go a long long way, above you can see my process of dehydrating the potatoes, I managed (as I made a load of soup as well) to dehydrate 1.75kg or around there of potatoes which yielded three bags full.

To dehydrate the potatoes, I just cut them into slices around 1/4th – 1/8th inch wide, par boiled them in boiling water for 5/6 minutes and then dehydrated until almost see through/crisp.

I’m very excited to start using these in my stews and attempting some potato bakes with them. Hopefully this will be something I can add to my larder list for future years, especially as we don’t have the space for a lot of items and this will give me a great option if veg comes cheap again.

The Food Budget and things

The food budget, oh the dreaded food budget!

With moving forward in my simple living plans, this is the one area I really want to sort out and give a massive revamp! Especially as I am wanting to make, cook, grow and forage my own.

Currently at the moment we spend around £70 a week on food, this is just us not the dogs, sometimes it’s more sometimes it’s less. On the odd occasion I’ve even managed to get it down to £25! I don’t think £70 is bad for a couple for food but we do buy a lot of crap and I would like to change this so I think if I can change my food spending to be less and focus more on the actual meals themselves that this will cut down out crap eating.

We shall see.

So what shall I change our money budget to, I have no idea. Currently our £70 equates to around £3640 a year, roughly £303 something per month. That means If I half our budget I could save us around £1320 a year!!

So that is what I am going to do, half my food budget to £35, and instead of just paying the money on our card without thinking about it, I’m going to take the hard cash out of the bank. Anything we don’t spend from that £70 will go into a piggy bank; I have a few to choose from, I’ll also be getting around 2 £1 food stamps so that we can have a couple of books filled for Christmas next year. If I don’t take the money out there is a high likelihood that the money would just get absorbed somewhere else. This also means that if something major happens and we need to spend the money it will be there.

I guess for my £35 budget I need to have a plan, a plan to take over the world mewhahahahahahahaha……………..

Anyway a plan,

  • I AM GOING TO MEAL PLAN AND KEEP AN ONGOING IN STOCK LIST….cough you get the idea!?!
  • I want to buy as locally as possible so that will be eggs from down the road, and meat/fish from a local producer.
  • I want to cut down our meat intake drastically, not quite to the Vegan side my sisters are at but somewhere where we are comfortable.
  • I want to start including more slow cooker meals into our life. I don’t know what happened as I used to live of my slow cooker but it’s now gathering dust in the far reaches of the kitchen.
  • I want to eat seasonally; I’m going to be printing of a calendar and hoping for the best. I’m also going to be checking where my produce comes from in stores.
  • I want to grow my own.
  • I want to forage my own.
  • I want to learn how to cook from scratch, all the time, be that bread, cookies or meals I need to learn it all.
  • Last but probably not least I want to learn how to put up the seasonal stuff, so say there is a deal on potatoes, I’d like to learn what to do with them so that we can have them for longer than a week.

What do you think? Am I a wee bit balmy? I guess after a couple of months we will find out.

My first month of the budget is this Saturday. I do realise this first week is going to be a good one, only three days in work and all that but it will be a nice easy start to the year hopefully.

All going well a Sunday Menu Plan catch up post will appear, every Sunday.